Plasma proteins associated with circulating carotenoids in Nepalese school-aged children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that function as vitamin A precursors, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents or biomarkers of recent vegetable and fruit intake, and are thus important for population health and nutritional assessment. An assay approach that measures proteins could be more technologically feasible than chromatography, thus enabling more frequent carotenoid status assessment. We explored associations between proteomic biomarkers and concentrations of 6 common dietary carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene) in plasma from 500 6–8 year old Nepalese children. Samples were depleted of 6 high-abundance proteins. Plasma proteins were quantified using tandem mass spectrometry and expressed as relative abundance. Linear mixed effects models were used to determine the carotenoid:protein associations, accepting a false discovery rate of q < 0.10. We quantified 982 plasma proteins in >10% of all child samples. Among these, relative abundance of 4 were associated with β-carotene, 11 with lutein/zeaxanthin and 51 with β-cryptoxanthin. Carotenoid-associated proteins are notably involved in lipid and vitamin A transport, antioxidant function and anti-inflammatory processes. No protein biomarkers met criteria for association with α-carotene or lycopene. Plasma proteomics may offer an approach to assess functional biomarkers of carotenoid status, intake and biological function for public health application. Original maternal micronutrient trial from which data were derived as a follow-up activity was registered at NCT00115271.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
StatePublished - May 15 2018


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Nepal
  • Plasma proteins
  • Proteomics
  • β-cryptoxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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